Calm
Usability Testing & Recommendations

 

Calm is one of the most popular meditation apps available today (and my favorite!). The company's mission is "to increase calm and mindfulness in an increasingly stressed-out world." Arguably, the key factor contributing to a successful meditation practice is consistency, so I set out to explore feature enhancements that would increase engagement overall as well as introduce meditation to novices. 

 

Uncovering Pain Points

PERSONA DEVELOPMENT

I started by developing a persona to document my assumptions and develop need statements. This persona informed my user research as well as assisted in prioritization of proposed solutions. 

GUERRILLA USABILITY TESTING

Using my provisional persona as a guide I performed guerrilla usability tests with six participants. None had previously meditated, nor used the Calm app. I had them answer questions and perform a series of tasks. 

 
MAYBE I WANT SOMETHING GUIDED?
BUT I DON’T KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS.
— First time user
 

Synthesis

The sorting process surfaced 3 main pain points.

  1. Difficulty understanding the different mediation options: Program, Guided, Timer
  2. The Program screen is unclear
  3. Daily reminder is hard to find

Other observations: 

  1. Users loved the background scenes on the Home screen
  2. No users swiped to change the background scene
  3. None of the users flipped to landscape mode 
  4. The font was too small to read for a few users

Prioritizing Objectives

Based on the research findings, I prioritized three main objectives:

  1. Get users to a meditation as quickly as possible 
  2. Clarify confusion surrounding the different options in the Meditate section: Program, Guided, Timer
  3. Create a better immersive experience with the background scenes

I sketched multiple options for each screen, continually referencing the target audience, company mission, and my objectives of making it easy to get to a meditation and to reduce confusion. 


Design Decisions

 
 
 
 
 

Interactive Prototype

 
 
 
 

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